Vision for Scotland to become global hi-tech manufacturing base

A new, industry-led strategy to promote Scotland as an ideal European base for global manufacturers will be unveiled to an audience of 50 business leaders in Livingston tomorrow (Tuesday, September 22).
The campaign – to be led by industry and managed by Scottish Enterprise (SE) – will be rolled out by senior figures from the chemical and life science sectors, who will explain how Scotland meets the infrastructure, connectivity and academic excellence needs of the global manufacturing industry.
It will be launched at Encap Drug Delivery’s facility, which is set to double in size following investment by US owners Capsugel, in a bid to help the chemical and life sciences sectors achieve their ambitious revenue and export growth targets.
From left, Caroline Strain, head of chemical sciences at Scottish Enterprise; professor Bob Tooze, Chemical Sciences Scotland; Fergus Ewing MSP; Julia Brown, director of life and chemical sciences at Scottish Enterprise, and Dave Tudor, GSK
According to SE, the life sciences sector is looking to double its turnover to £6.3 billion by 2020, while the chemical sciences sector is aiming to increase exports by 50% from £3 billion to £4.5 billion by 2020.
Key elements of the strategy include:
  • Changing perceptions of manufacturing to recognise that it is a highly skilled, well paid career choice
  • Commercialising research by translating intellectual property into opportunities for manufacturing
  • Strengthening the manufacturing base by identifying and filling gaps in the facilities available to support development and growth
  • Highlighting the benefits of ‘re-shoring’ manufacturing to Scotland from overseas and the strength of the supply chain infrastructure
  • Attracting investment from overseas companies
Dave Tudor, vice-president of global primary manufacturing company GlaxoSmithKline, said: “Scotland has all the necessary attributes and capabilities to deliver strong, innovative and competitive manufacturing in life and chemical sciences. Scotland is one of the top five countries in the world for intellectual property generation, there is a competitive and supportive regulatory environment and it is also a great place to live. In addition we have brilliant young scientists and engineers studying at world-class universities. Pull all these elements together and Scotland should continue to compete successfully on a global level for an increasing number of high value chemical and life sciences projects.”
Caroline Strain, head of chemical sciences, Scottish Enterprise, said: “We can offer the supply chain and infrastructure essential for successful manufacturing. Scotland is also well-connected internally and externally, from collaboration between public, private and academic sectors, to transport links. And we have a track record of academic excellence and industrial research and development. We’re calling on national and international companies to talk to us to find out more about how they could benefit from all the advantages that Scotland has as a European or Global base.”
Business minister Fergus Ewing said: “Achieving our goals means generating additional turnover of £5.6bn a year across the two sectors, which is equivalent to replicating the output of Grangemouth, Scotland’s largest industrial complex. This will be challenging, but it’s essential that we clearly state the extent of our ambitions if we are to grasp the opportunities. These sectors will continue to make an increasingly important contribution to our economy, through developing our manufacturing base, internationalisation and inclusive growth.
“The future possibilities mean that the opportunities in the life sciences and chemical sectors are tremendous for young people today. I would like to promote the work of life sciences and chemical sciences manufacturing sectors so that people in Scotland and beyond associate them with Scotland, in the same way that they do with whisky, food and drink, finance, oil & gas and renewables.”
The next step for the strategy will see task groups led by industry and managed by Scottish Enterprise. Each group will articulate key priorities and milestones to achieve them.
Over the past three years, life and chemical sciences companies in Scotland have committed nearly £1 billion towards expanding their manufacturing facilities.
Key facts:
  • Scotland’s chemical sciences sector has 200+ core businesses, excluding supply chain providers.
  • This sector remains one of the highest performing sectors in terms of GVA per employee and export earnings (at £3.8 billion the second highest figure after whisky).
  • Direct employment currently stands at 12,300, GVA at £1.9 billion and the sector has a business turnover of £8.7 billion per annum.
  • Major companies in the sector include GSK, BASFPharma, Johnson Matthey, Exxonmobil and Ineos.
  • Scotland is home to one of the most sizeable life sciences clusters in Europe.
  • Companies with a significant international presence such as Charles River Laboratories, Thermo Fisher Scientific, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Millipore Terumo, and ClinTec.
  • In all, there are over 600 organisations, ranging from higher education institutions to companies, and the total sector employs more than 30,000 people.
  • The latest Scottish Government figures shows turnover in excess of £3.2 billion and GVA (Gross Value Added) of £1.6 billion for the sector.
  • Manufacturing as a whole pays around 30% more than service sector jobs whilst also generating 45% more in export revenue
  • Scotland provides a great talent pool for life and chemical sciences and very competitive labour costs compared to other European geographies.
  • Researcher for researcher, Scotland has produced more publications and citations than the rest of the world and is consistently ranked in the top three European countries, out-performing Germany, France and the rest of the UK.
The manufacturing strategy is a supplementary document to both sectors’ existing strategies: Scottish Life Sciences Strategy 2011, and Platform for Growth – a Strategic Plan for the Chemical Sciences in Scotland 2012.
Case study: Encap Drug Delivery – Livingston
In June 2015, US firm Capsugel announced a major expansion of its facility in Livingston to meet rising customer demand for its specialised pharmaceutical product development and commercial manufacturing services.
The company will more than double the size of its Edinburgh facility by adding 40,000 square feet of space and will enable Capsugel’s Dosage Form Solutions business unit to both increase its liquid- and semi-solid-fill hard capsule manufacturing capacity for drug products containing high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs) and further diversify its technology platforms offered at the facility.
These enhanced capabilities will help Capsugel’s pharmaceutical customers bring a greater range of new products to market more quickly.
The facility, which Capsugel acquired as part of its purchase of Encap Drug Delivery in March 2013, is amongst the largest in the world for the manufacture of liquid- and semi-solid-filled hard capsule pharmaceutical products. Over the past two years, the facility has experienced approximately 40 per cent growth in its development services business, while also establishing a strong commercial manufacturing pipeline – including eight late-stage projects currently in process.
Case study: CelluComp – Burntisland
CelluComp has created a European-first with its biorefinery plant to produce material based on the by-products from the agri-food industry (root vegetables) – in particular sugar beet. These are then turned into a sustainable material, marketed as Curran®, which is used in household materials such as paint. As well as generating value from food waste, it provides the chemicals industry with a more environmentally-conscious option for consumers; compared with traditional products, it has a lower carbon footprint, uses fewer fossil fuel based chemicals, and is emission free.
Minister for Youth and Women's Employment Annabelle Ewing MSP was at the opening of CelluComp's Glenrothes plant earlier this year.
Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment Annabelle Ewing MSP was at the opening of CelluComp’s Glenrothes plant earlier this year.
The Fife plant, which opened in March 2015, marks the beginning of scaling up commercial production of the product. CelluComp reports that the expansion has already produced dividends to the company through additional export opportunities.
According to SE, the opening of the plant is progress against Scotland’s National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology, which seeks to establish Scotland as a world leader in industrial biotechnology (IB) and biorefining, an industry already estimated to be worth nearly £200m to the Scottish economy.
Curran powder press produced by CelluComp
Curran powder press produced by CelluComp


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